Scientific: Larus melanocephalus

Cymraeg: Gwylan Môr Y Canoldir

Regularly recorded at coastal sites, with an increase in recent years. Most records July to September

Probable adult in full breeding plumage with mixed flock of Black-headed and Common Gull, Cefn Sidan Sands, 7 July. Adult, Salmon Scar Point, 22 September. Subject to acceptance by WRAG.

Singles, Burry Port harbour, 22 July; 2nd winter, River Llwchwr, Loughor Bridge (joint county), 30 September.

3, Machynys, 1 Adult summer plumage, 1 possible Adult summer plumage, 1, 1st summer, also 1 Mediterranean Black-headed Gull, 3 May. Adult, Cefn Sidan Sands, 9th; Pembrey Harbour, ; 1 moulting to 2nd winter plumage, Llanelli Beach, 13th; 3 Adult, winter plumage, , 23rd, 4, 3 Ad. winter plumage, 1, 2nd winter plumage, 24th, 1 Adult, 27 August all at Duport Pond (Sandy Water Park), Llanelli. 1, Ad. winter plumage, Horsebox Pond, Pwll, 3 September.

Adult, Horsebox Pond, Pwll, 24 February; near Stradey Castle, Llanelli, 31 July, 1st, 5th, 15 August 9 September in field with Black-headed Gulls.

1, Witchett Pool, 4 September; adult in summer plumage, 19th July, adult in winter plumage Sandy Water Park, Llanelli, 11th November.

Singles, 2nd winter, Pwll, 18 August; adult winter, Burry Port, 15 September.

1, 2nd winter, Ginst Point, 2nd; adult, Pendine Sands 27 January; adult Penclacwydd 8 February; adult in summer plumage Llanelli Beach 17 March; adult Penbre Harbour 14 July; Pwll 24th; Upper Llwchwr estuary 28 August; 2nd winter, Burry Port 15 September; Pendine 3rd. 1st winter 5th; Ferryside 4 December.

Amroth: 1st-winter on 22nd February Llangennech: 1 adult summer on 26th February, Llansteffan: 2 first-winters early in the year and a 1st-summer in the spring. Llanelli Beach: 2nd-summer on 12th June Salmon Scar: adult on 4th April. Sandy Water Park: adult.-summer in mid-July, presumed same Machynys: 23rd to 26th July. Penclacwydd: adult-summer on 31st July. Pembrey Harbour: adult-winter on 19th August. Sandy Water Park: adult-winter on 11th October. Another good year for the species; now recorded annually since 1986.

Llansteffan: 1 first-winter early in January; Ferryside: adult in April; Carmarthen: 1st summer in May ; Machynys: adult on 25th September; St. Ishmael: adult-winter on 28th November; Sandy Water Park: adult-winter on 5th December. Unusually there were no mid-summer records, but an increased number of winter records. Recorded annually since 1986.

All the records early in the year were from Sandy Water Park: a 1st winter on 5th January; in February an adult-winter on 1st and 4th and 19th and an adult-summer on 5th March. The only record of the summer was of 2 adults at North Dock, Llanelli on 2nd July. In October an adult was at Sandy Water Park on 11th, 17th-18th and 30th with 2 there on 13th -14th November and 1 on 23rd and 28th.

The only record of the early winter was an adult at Pendine on 13th January.

At least 5 individuals were present in mid-summer. Two different 1st summers were involved in a series of records of single birds at Penclacwydd on 23rd and 29th June, 1st – 2nd and 13th July, at Sandy Water Park on 8th and 11th July and Pembrey Harbour 11th July. A 2nd summer was at Penclacwydd on 13th and 17th July; an adult summer at Penclacwydd on 7th, 13th and 31st and at Machynys Pond on 16th and an adult winter at Machynys Pond on 23rd. A 2nd summer was at Sandy Water Park on 27th August; an adult winter at North Dock, Llanelli on 4th September and a 2nd winter at Sandy Water Park on 17th September.

In December 2 different 2nd winter birds were at Sandy Water Park on 28th and 30th.

Records for the first winter period were of 2nd winter birds at Sandy Water Park on 2nd – 3rd January and 13th and Burry Port on 21st February, adult winter birds at Sandy Water Park on 7th January and Laugharne on 31st and an adult summer at Sandy Water Park on 6th February.

In mid-summer there was an influx involving at least 5 individuals (3 adults, 2 2nd summers). A colour ringed 2nd summer bird of Dutch origin was at Penclacwydd from 16th June – 9th July. Other records of 2nd summer birds were of 1 at Penclacwydd from 6th – 20th July and also at Machynys on 6th and 13th, 2 at Pembrey Harbour on 14th August and 1 at Penclacwydd on 14th and 26th August. At least 3 adults were involved in a series of sightings at Penclacwydd and Machynys between 9th July and 2nd August.

Records for the autumn were of a single adult at Penclacwydd on 9th October and 2nd November and Machynys on 3rd November.

In January there was a 2nd winter at Penclacwydd: on 15th and an adult winter at Sandy Water Park on 26th.

In July an adult summer was at Penclacwydd: from 5th – 8th, with 4 at Machynys on 12th and 1 on 20th. adult winter birds were seen at Machynys on 31st August and at Penclacwydd. on 20th November and 5th December.

The first record of the year was of 2 adult winter birds at Carmarthen rubbish tip, Llanddarog on 7th January, followed by a 2nd winter bird at Sandy Water Park on 28th March and a 1st summer at Penclacwydd on 17th May. As usual records peaked in July/August, with an adult at Penclacwydd between 5th – 15th July and on 9th August, single adults at North Dock, Llanelli on 7th July and Machynys on 18th and 4 adults at North Dock, Llanelli on 26th July, with 2 thereon 1st August and 1 on 15th.

An adult winter at Penclacwydd on 8th November and a 2nd winter at Sandy Water Park on 29th were the last records of the year.

The first records of the year were from Sandy Water Park. with a 2nd winter on 1st January and 8th and an ad. on 3rd. There were 2 1st winters at Pwll on 3rd March and 1 at Sandy Water Park. on 13th. At Penclacwydd, there were 2 adults on 1st June, with 3 adults on 18th and 22nd – 23rd and 2 adults and a 1st summer on 27th. At least 5 individuals were seen there in July with a 2nd summer on 2nd and 3 adults and a 1st summer on 4th, with 2 adults being seen intermittently to 31st. Other July records were of a 1st summer at Sandy Water Park. and an ad. summer at North Dock, Llanelli on 18th. In August there were 2 adults at Penclacwydd on 14th and 1 at Burry Port on 31st. In September there was an ad. at Sandy Water Park on 4th and a 2nd winter at Burry Port on 15th. The last records were of single ad. winter birds at Ashpits Ponds on 14th November, 11th December and 24th and Sandy Water Park on 28th November, 13th December and 21st.

The only early winter record was of an ad. at Sandy Water Park on 8th January. At Penclacwydd there were 2 (1 adult, 1-2nd summer) on 23rd June 2 (adults) on 24th, with 3 (2 adults., 1-2nd summer) on 25th. In July, there were 2 adults on 3rd, 3 adults on 4th and 6th, 6 (5 adults, 1 2nd-summer) on 7th, 8 (7 adults, 1-2nd summer) on 10th, with single adults on 16th and 19th and 4th August. Elsewhere, there were 4 adults at North Dock, Llanelli on 27th July and 2 adults there on 22nd August.

It is conceivable that the 14 records for this species included an identical bird, accompanied on two occasions by one other! Information about age might have illuminated the problem, but not necessarily so. Nevertheless, I plead guilty! All but five birds haunted Sandy Water Park and the dates for these were: January 6th and 31st; February 3rd, 20th and 28th; 16th April; 15th July; 26th October and 3rd November – 2 this time. Away from Sandy Water Park, 1 was at Upper Loughor on 4th January while Llanelli Beach held 1 on 17th February and 24th July, with 2 there on 15 July. On 2nd October 1 was at Burry Port Harbour.

In January 3 adults at Sandy Water Park. on 19th. A first winter bird was seen on 21st February. Singles at Machynys and Burry Port on 10th and 29th July respectively. 1 at Upper Loughor on 9th August. A juvenile went almost unnoticed among Black-headed Gulls at Pembrey Beach on 20th August. An adult at Sandy Water Park on 2nd September. Singles there again on 10th and 27th October. A single adult, presumably the same as the last bird, present on 12th November and 17th December. Details of birds at Penclacwydd are: on 17th February 1 first winter; on 20th and 21st June 1 adult winter; a total of 5 birds noted throughout June; 10 birds in July. being 3 first years, 2 second years, 4 adult summer and 1 adult winter.

An adult at Sandy Water Park on 9th & 20th January and 1st February, presumably the same bird. A first summer bird at Penclacwydd on 26th May 2, plumage unspecified, near Copperhouse, Machynys on 21th July. An adult at Penclacwydd and 4 unspecified plumaged birds near Copperhouse, Machynys, all on 24th July. An unspecified plumaged bird was at the Upper Loughor Estuary on 25th October. Sandy Water Park had 2 adults and a first winter on 3rd November and an adult on 9th December. Penclacwydd records were: one first year on 16th May: same from 20th to 24th May at least live birds throughout June and July: a bird with a green ring (3HJ6) on 21st July and 7 adultss on 25th July.

Adult Sandy Water Park January 11th, 2nd winter North Dock, Llanelli February 1st, 1st summer Afon Lliedi, Llanelli March 2nd, 2nd summer Penclacwydd April 7th, 1st summer & 2nd summer Penclacwydd April 29th -May 24th, adult North Dock June 7th, adult Burry Port July 11th, 4 adults & 2 2nd winter birds Sandy Water Park August 28th and adult North Dock Llanelli November 27th. The two immatures at Penclacwydd in in April/May built a nest and were sitting but unlikely there was any result. A peak of 15 at Llanelli Beach on September 9th is also worth mentioning.

One wearing a green ring at Llanelli Beach August 27th had been ringed as a chick at a new colony at Zandvlietsluis, Belgium on May 9th.

Adult North Dock Llanelli January 14th, 2nd winter Sandy Water Park March 27th, 6 Penclacwydd July 1st, adult Burry Port August 2nd, 17 (5 adults, 6 1st summer, 3 2nd summer and 3 juveniles) Sandy Water Park August3rd, 13 (all adults) Sandy Water Park August 4th, 2 adults North Dock, Llanelli August 10th, Llanelli October 9th, adult North Dock Llanelli October 23rd, Penclacwydd October 22nd, adult North Dock Llandelli November 6th, Sandy Water Park November 9th and again November 27th. Consolidated counts at Penclacwydd found 31 in June and 33 in July.

This species is becoming so numerous that it is difficult to mention individual records. Frequently used sites were Burry Port Harbour and Sandy Water Park. At the latter site c30 were present July 6th. Penclacwydd produced a number of records peaking at 22 June 15th. At this site birds were noted nest sitting but no breeding was proven.

At Penclacwydd 18 different birds were recorded in June and included 4 colour ringed birds all of which seem to originate from Belgium. There are so many records of individual birds now that it is impossible to know just how many are present. A group of 29 were on Llanelli Beach September 27th.